Tag: BMW i3

Making a Shift to Electric Cars

Nissan_Leaf_(MSP15)The majority of automakers are developing or selling hybrid and electric car models. Even Ferrari’s supercar makers have a plan of fitting a hybrid power train on every new vehicle by the year 2019. The goal is to have approximately half a million electric vehicles on the roads before the end of this year. Currently, the best-selling electric vehicle in the world is the Nissan Leaf. Last year, at least 180,000 units of the model were sold. The Leaf is a fully electric car without a hybrid gas engine and range-extender. There are several variations of the model with the costs ranging from $26,000 to $33,000, before receiving a governmental rebate.

Several prospective customers considering a move to the electric vehicle market usually have worries of the battery not carrying them far enough. However, this should not be an issue. Most of the current electric car owners have reported not suffering from range anxiety since they started using their vehicles. One of the questions that most people ask themselves is why they should move to electric vehicles. An excellent response is that electric cars are undoubtedly the vehicles of the future. Fully electric cars offer a green solution to driving around town as they have no greenhouse emissions. Operating an electric car is not only cheaper, but also quieter in comparison to other vehicles on the road. Most drivers find driving an electric vehicle to be easier in comparison to other options. There is instant power regardless of whether one is from a standstill or in motion.

A great option to consider when shifting to electric cars is the Nissan Leaf. This model is not only affordable, but it has great technology. An especially useful feature is a smart phone application connected to the vehicle to give stats, efficiency, as well as driving information. This application is a perfect example of the Leaf’s advanced technology. The model also had a wide range of optional extras to take advantage of. For instance, there is a feature for preheating the vehicle during cold periods. Hence, while other drivers are busy getting rid of frost from the windshield, a Nissan Leaf driver can just begin driving the car.

Although there are several electric vehicles currently sold, the Nissan Leaf is clearly the most appropriate and affordable option for most people. The driving style of this model is smooth and fun. It is clearly a perfect car for city driving and range is not an issue of concern. Hence, people exploring the electric market should consider this great model. Other cars to consider in the electric car market is the BMW i3, Tesla Model S, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Ford Focus electric, and several others.


Leave a Comment February 3, 2017

BMW Surpasses the 100,000 Number of Electric Vehicles Sold Globally

6365eabff973f28c61df204535a9f8adxSince the November 2013 launch, more than a hundred thousand plug-in hybrid and fully electric cars have been sold by BMW globally. This information was obtained from a press release put out by the company. In terms of the breakdown, more than half of the total units sold were accounted for by the BMW i3. This means that this model tops in the list of the most successful electric vehicles in the segment of premium compacts. Among the electrified sports vehicles, the leading model is BMW i8 plug-in hybrid car with at least 10,000 units sold since its launch two years ago.

In the last three years, other plug-in cars exceeding 30,000 have been bought by customers across the world. This category comprises of five models of BMW plug-in. BMW currently groups them under the iPerformance level of the automaker. This is a clear reflection of what is termed “a successful wide transfer of i technology of BMW.” Among the leading sellers in the class of electrified cars other than the i8 and the i3 is BMW’s X5 plug-in. Information from the HybridCar’s Dashboard indicate that about 406 X5 plug-in units were sold in the United States in October, surpassing the 196 units of i8 sold and 422 i3 units.

The spearhead with regards to innovation is the BMW I, which plans to continue the opening up of groundbreaking technologies in the future. This is according to Harald Kruger, BMW AG’s Board of Management Chairman. In terms of electric drivetrains, the automaker has managed to initiate the technology transfer in question. The next innovation to be addressed is automatic driving, with the automaker set to launch BMW Inext.

Other models expected in the near future include Mini Countryman, a plug-in hybrid car planned for 2017. A new BMW i8 sports vehicle variant that will have a plug-in hybrid drive is expected to be launched in 2018. This model will be a BMW i8 Roadstar with an open-top. The iNEXT is highly likely to be revealed at the beginning of 2020. There has been speculation that a BMW i5 electrified sports utility vehicle will be produced in 2021.

BMW Group is deemed as one of the pioneers of sustainable mobility following the establishment of its i brand as well as the development of a different car architecture. It uses the eDrive technology to produce electric power. For this reason, the automaker has attracted new customers, with more than eighty percent i3 globally being new to BMW.


Leave a Comment November 11, 2016

2016’s Best Hybrid Cars

hyundai_ioniq_03Hybrid cars fall into three categories, conventional, range-extender and the plug-in hybrids. Conventional hybrid cars are easy to drive since they operate just like normal cars. These cars mostly use a combustion engine. The range-extender hybrid cars use an electric drive with small engines used for battery charging. Plug-in hybrids fall in between the two classes. Although these cars need to be charged, drivers can opt to use either the diesel engine or all-electric mode when the batteries are low. For short commutes, it’s possible to last for quite a while without the use of petrol. Some of the best hybrid cars according to critics’ recommendations are mentioned below.

Toyota Prius

Toyota’s Prius is currently in its 4th generation and it is still among the highly established mass-production hybrids. The newest model has a design that is more eye-catching and flamboyant in comparison to its predecessors. Additionally, it has a new battery and motor technology that enhances its efficiency. Buyers are exempted from congestion and tax charges.

Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in

This plug-in hybrid electric car is popular because of its quiet style of driving coupled with a high sports utility car driving position. According to Auto Express, this vehicle is sensible for people interested in comfort, space, as well as reduced company-vehicle tax bills. It utilizes a petrol engine of 2 liters combined with dual-electric motors and a generator. Mitsubishi has claimed that its Outlander will have 148 mpg fuel economy and 44g/km carbon dioxide emissions.

BMW’S i3 Range Extender

This is a small-sized and fashionable electric vehicle that may come with a double-cylinder petrol engine to become a range extender. Instead of playing the role of propulsion, the small-sized engine’s is only used for charging the batteries, which then powers the electric drivetrain. Its retail price is reasonable since it qualifies for full government grants.

Hyundai Ioniq

It is among the most recent hybrid cars to enter the market. It also marks Hyundai’s initial effort to manufacture a car utilizing battery technology. It also becomes the very first vehicle with a chance of being a plug-in hybrid, fully-electric or having a conventional hybrid powertrain. Its major competitor is the Prius with a competitive advantage in terms of price. Auto Express has noted that it is more comfortable to drive the Ioniq in comparison to the Prius because it has a proper gearbox. From the perspectives of refinement and comfort, coupled with a roomy trunk and sufficient passenger space, the Ioniq is clearly a spacious and comfortable family vehicle.


Leave a Comment November 4, 2016

A Review of Hyundai Ioniq Electric Vehicle

20160317_hyundai_ioniq_1Having enjoyed the hybrid version of Ioniq, it makes sense to test-drive the electric model. The Ioniq electric version completely eliminates the gas engine. While Ioniq hybrid directly competes with Toyota Prius, the competitors of the electric version include models such as BMW i3, Kia Soul and Nissan Leaf. Buyers interested in an electric vehicle will consider all the mentioned models including the newest one in the list. Luckily, Ioniq happens to be among the best electric cars in the market. While it has its limitations, it has a high capability of outshining its main competitors.

Most buyers in the United States and even the UK market have not yet fully embraced electric vehicles. The electric range of cars such as the Ioniq is still meager, which gives drivers the feeling of driving on an almost empty fuel tank all the time. This short range works only when commuting for short distances with charging along the way. In such a case, the vehicle’s range of 174 miles should be sufficient. This range is slightly higher than that of the Nissan Leaf, which offers 155 miles. With a lithium-ion polymer battery, the Ioniq’s electric motor has the ability to generate a torque of 295 Nm, which is present in the Sport mode. The Eco and Normal modes help in reserving torque, consequently boosting the range. Other tricks that drivers can enjoy include regenerative braking, an aerodynamic body and a unique system for climate control.

The electric model of Ioniq slightly differs from the hybrid version. In the place of a grille, there is a large plastic panel that aids circulating air in a more efficient manner. The same function is also achieved by the car’s odd-looking wheels. Unluckily, Ioniq doesn’t have the same quirkiness as that of Toyota’s Prius. Instead, it has the look of a traditional petrol vehicle, though it isn’t offensive. It is more impressive on the inside with materials that have a good feel. Its cabin has copper-colored accents to give a fresh appeal. The inside is more upmarket in comparison to the Leaf. Driving it is more like the Leaf, with the electric motor providing an instant response. Off the line, the car is less aggressive compared to other electric vehicles, though it is more powerful when starting off. At minimal speeds, Ioniq electric car is just the best, with a sense of refinement and ease of driving in the city. Hence, the Ioniq appears to be better than its competitors in terms of range and a more mature feel.


Leave a Comment October 14, 2016

It May Cost you Less to Drive a Climate-Friendly Vehicle

14_chevrolet_volt_mias_14Several people believe that low-emission cars such as electric and hybrid vehicles are more costly compared to other alternatives. However, a novel study proved that green cars are actually a better option when the costs of maintenance and operation are added to a car’s buying price. The trucks and cars usually driven account for at least 20 percent of all the greenhouse gas emissions countrywide. The worrying rates of environmental pollution prompted an energy scientist, Jessika Trancik, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to investigate the issue of vehicle emissions. The first question asked during the investigation was how cars and personal vehicles related to climate targets.

Trancik and her colleagues were interested in finding out the number and type of cars in the United States that are both climate-friendly and cost-efficient. The findings of their study were published online this week accompanied with a paper in Environmental Science and Technology journal. The results were interesting concerning the ultimate cost of green cars. Trancik said that consumers don’t have to spend a lot for green cars or lowest-emitting cars. The findings further revealed that some vehicles currently on the market, a majority of battery electric and hybrids already comply with the world emission goals that the United States has promised to meet within in the next 14 years. The cars in questions include models such as Chevy Volt, Ford’s Focus Electric, Toyota Prius, BMW i3, Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf.

The study showed that a standard vehicle sold has more emissions than the 2030 target by about 50 percent. This means that there is evidently a disconnection between the type of vehicles bought and where we hope to be by 2030. For instance, falling at the other side of the chart is the Chevy Suburban, whose lifetime costs are high, while its emissions are more than the American average. There is also a wide gap with respect to the 2050 goals. This is according to Chris Gearhart, who plays the role of directing transportation research in Colorado’s Laboratory for National Renewable Energy. Chris says that his motivation is the belief that eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation industry is a key priority. He further added that Trancik’s study is interesting since it clearly illustrates the impact that individual choices have. He believes that even an average person can afford or own a Tesla. Currently, United States’ vehicles emit greenhouse gases that are sufficient to fill at least seven hundred thousand Empire State Buildings. This situation can change if people embrace green cars such as electric and hybrid vehicles.

Leave a Comment October 7, 2016

Cool Facts about Chevrolet’s 2017 Bolt Electric Car

urlAs the production and on-sale date of 2017 Bolt nears, more information has been released concerning this model. General Motors has made it a priority to produce electric cars having more than 200 miles in range. Consumers are looking forward to the day Chevy will allow ordering via its numerous dealers. There are some cool facts that buyers and other interested parties need to know about the 2017 version of the Chevy Bolt. The range of this model will be 238 miles. This is a combination of both highway and city driving with a battery capacity of 60-kWh. This battery size is similar to that of the base Tesla’s S Model. This is a big change from Nissan’s first 2011 Leaf that had a range of 73 miles with a battery capacity of 24-kWh. Nissan then increased the range in 2013 by 11 miles and in 2016 by 23 miles, giving the Chevy Bolt a decided advantage.

Another cool thing about the Chevy Bolt is its stupendous energy efficiency. The General Motors engineers earlier this year said that their powertrain was highly efficient. This week, further information revealed that the approximate EPA ratings are 110 and 128 for city driving. The Chevrolet Bolt claims to be the best model in terms of a highway MPGe of all the electric vehicles with a range of more than 81 miles. Its major competitor is BMW’s i3 with a battery capacity of 22-Kwh and 111 MPGe. The highway rating of this model lowers to 106. The Bolt’s range may be surpassed by Model S, which has superior aerodynamics particularly at a higher speed.

Chevrolet Bolt for 2017 also has respectable performance and speed. Although a Prius may seem a gas guzzler at city or suburban driving, the Bolt can handle the road in a satisfactory manner. Furthermore, its acceleration, especially from a stoplight is spritely. It can jump from zero to 30 mph in about 2.9 seconds with its single-speed transmission, 294-pounds-feet motor, and 200 horsepower. It has been reported that the Bolt can jump from zero to 60 mph within 6.5 seconds while its passing power speed at 50-75 mph is 4.5 seconds.  With the highest speed being 91 mph, it seems that GM’s emphasized the car’s legal performance, translating to the utilizable get-up-and-go power. Another remarkable fact concerning the Bolt is excellent space use. Details such as thin-frame seats contribute to the car’s roominess in the interior. General Motors further adds that this model’s interior is twice as large as the exterior.

Leave a Comment September 23, 2016

July’s Plug-in Electric Vehicle Sales: Volt Triumphs

Chevrolet_Volt_2nd_201606_02A major milestone was marked in the United States last month with respect to plug-in electric vehicle sales. The milestone in question is the delivery of the 100,000th Chevy Volt. Volt became the first plug-in model to hit the 100,000th mark. The automaker celebrated this achievement with some fanfare and a press release. Both Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt were officially put on sale in late 2010, and for the most of five years, the Leaf surpassed the Volt in terms of total sales.

The second-generation Chevy Volt plug-in has been a well-received car and emerged the winner in 2016 Green Car Reports on the best cars to purchase. It topped the Leaf and has continued to flourish for ten consecutive months. In July, the sales of Volts reached 2,406, one of its best months since 2014 August. The total units sold for the seven months in 2016 are 12,214 and since 2010 December the grand total sales amount to 100,964. On the other hand, the Nissan Leaf made deliveries amounting to 1,063.

Since its launch, the Leaf has sold 96,447 units, implying that if it continues with the same pace it would cross the one hundred thousand line in October. Tesla’s Model S emerged as the third ranked selling electric vehicle in the Unites States. However, its manufacturer didn’t give details of the monthly sales. The quarterly sales breakdown details are also not available. The fourth-best is Toyota’s Prius plug-in with sales total exceeding 42,300. This plug-in car’s replacement is Prius Prime, scheduled to officially enter the market at the end of this year.

In the plug-in hybrid sector, Ford recorded the highest sales with its Energi versions. The Fusion and C-Max Energi have recorded higher sales compared to Nissan for several months. Contrary to the usual pattern, the sales of Fusion Energi dropped to 1,341 units, while those of C-Max were 755 deliveries. Both of the cars collectively recorded total sales amounting to 2,096. Ford and Chevy seem to have exchanged the lead with respect to plug-in vehicle sales this year for some time. Nissan has lagged behind.

BMW’s i3, planned for an update in 2017 recorded remarkable sales amounting to 1,479 units. This marked the highest sales in a month since July last year. Since its launch in the United States, i3 has sold 21,475 units. Volkswagen’s e-Golf made deliveries of 344 units in July, with a total of 1,799 units for seven months. Lower-volume cars include Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV and Mercedes’ 250e.


Leave a Comment August 12, 2016

The Electric Division of BMW Plans to Focus on Autonomous Vehicles

2014_BMW_i3_PortugalBMW has taken a bold step of changing its division “I” into a center for developing self-driving cars. This unit was previously famed for the production of lightweight electric cars. The automaker’s next all-electric vehicle will be released in the year 2021, which will be a significantly later period compared to competitors like Tesla. Tesla is set to release the much awaited Model 3 next year, while Audi and Porsche are currently working to release fully electric cars in 2019. BMW changed the trend following the low sales of its battery-powered vehicle, the i3. This is in contrast to Tesla whose Model 3 already has at least 370,000 pre-orders.

The lackluster sales prompted the automaker to change the focus of the “I” division to autonomous driving from the development of electric vehicles. This project has been dubbed as the i Next project. The revamp also comes following the defections of several high level staff members. A Chinese car start-up poached BMW’s “I” Powertrain Team Manager, Dirk Abendroth, the Engineering Division Vice President, Carsten Breitfeld, and the “I” Product Management Vice President, Henrik Wenders.

As a component of the self-driving push, the automaker is employing people with expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning. It is also trying to integrate the roles of the current computer-driven aid systems such as emergency braking, cruise control, automatic parking, and lane-keeping support.

The sales of self-driving cars, where the driver doesn’t need to make an active input, are expected to gain momentum in 2020. This figure could increase to about 9 million by the year 2025. This information was given by analysts from the Exane BNP Paribas. China is the largest vehicle market in the world and this is where self-driving vehicles are likely to emerge and be adopted on a large-scale basis. The country is also fast at technology implementation. Last year alone, China sold more electric vehicles compared to a combination of all the global markets.

BMW also has a plan of expanding the reserving parking space areas for charging stations and electric cars using a mobile application. This market is still not consistent within different countries. The automaker already has Parkmobile and ParkNow, which are digital payment and parking services. Although Apple hasn’t made an official announcement regarding its plan to produce electric cars, there are still rumors regarding the issue. For instance, rumor has it that the company was conducting research on electric car changing last week. There have also been speculations that the company plans to begin developing autonomous vehicles.


Leave a Comment June 10, 2016

Excellent Choices in Plug-in Hybrid or Electric Cars

Candy_Red_Tesla_Model_3_trimmed_2Have you finally decided to switch from a gasoline-powered to a plug-in hybrid or electric car? Over the past few years, green cars have seen an increase in popularity as more people are realizing their numerous benefits. Each model year, car manufacturers have been increasing their offerings of cost-friendly and fun electric and plug-in hybrid cars. While buyers are clearly interested in the new vehicles, the new fuel efficacy regulations set under the leadership of President Obama have had a major impact in the industry. The rules have given automakers a basis for stepping up the production of less consumptive cars that can compete in cost with conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.

Additionally, consumers can save almost $8,000 in tax incentives, and probably a much higher figure from their state. The availability of such incentives has substantially lowered the costs involved in purchasing a plug-in hybrid or electric car. It means that it is extremely easy to opt out of gasoline and go for an electric car. A perfect case is Ford’s revamped C-Max Energi, a popular plug-in hybrid car with a range of about 500 miles and a 19-mile range when driving in a fully electric mode. This car’s retail price doesn’t exceed $28,000.

Not to be left behind, GM’s Chevrolet is also releasing several plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles that will be sold to consumers at reasonable prices. Chevy’s Spark electric has a range exceeding eighty miles per charge and its retail price is $19,000 dollars. The enthusiasts of the Chevrolet brand interested in a ride with more torque and engine power can settle for the Volt with a gasoline driving range of approximately 380 miles and 38 miles on all-electric driving. Its price tag has been estimated to not exceed $27,000.

Meanwhile, German car manufacturers continue to showcase their creativity in the electric vehicle sphere. The fully electric BMW i3 electric vehicle shoots from 0 to 60 within seven seconds, despite its not-so-attractive look. The fully electric i3 version retails for approximately $35,000 and its range is 81 miles per charge. However, owners have the option of adding a small-sized back up engine for an extra cost of $4,000, which would transform the car to a plug-in hybrid and give it a range of 150 miles. Let’s not forget Tesla’s Model 3 that is yet to be launched next year with its impressive range of 215 miles.

Hence, plug-in hybrid and electric cars are the future cars that should be embraced widely.


Leave a Comment May 27, 2016

An Easy Guide to Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid_modesBy now, virtually everyone knows that hybrid cars achieve exemplary gas mileage using electric energy. However, only a few understand how the advanced powertrains of these cars work and whether they save costs. Well, it is important to know that hybrids differ from standard cars in that they utilize two powertrains; one is a gasoline engine and one is an electric motor. The power of the electric motor is provided by a battery pack. For several decades, cars powered by electricity have been the future’s vision. In the 1990s, the development of electrically powered vehicles stopped and then hybrid cars emerged. The hybrid cars promised a compromise between the pros and cons of both gasoline and electric powertrains.

Electric motors have a high efficiency when it comes to acceleration, contrary to the internal-combustion engine cars, and contrary to popular belief. Hence, they produce maximum power. However, batteries that have sufficient energy to provide power for long-distance driving are heavy, bulky and expensive. Recent advancements in battery technology have led to the introduction of new electric vehicles to the market. Unfortunately, electric products are of limited range, and currently, hybrid cars are the best deal for both electric and gasoline cars.

Regarding the hybrid technologies, there is a blend of the power originating from the gas engine and that of the batteries and the electric motor. The two powertrains are combined in various ways to determine the car’s efficiency. Full hybrids tend to be the best in terms of gas mileage. The newer plug-in cars allow the driver to use even less gas by driving solely as electric vehicles for a limited distance.

A majority of the full hybrids make use of parallel designs whereby either an electric motor or gas engine alone is used for driving the wheels. Alternatively, the two can work together. Hybrids can also be associated with series configurations, which mean that the wheels are solely driven by the electric motor with the gas engine serving simply as the generator to give electric power when the battery is exhausted. Examples of hybrid cars that use this system include the Chevrolet Volt and BMW i3.

Another type of hybrid car is the plug-in hybrid, which can easily be recharged to operate as an electric car for a while. They usually have an initial electric range of 10-35 before they can switch to standard hybrid operation. These cars are either series or full hybrid versions, with some parallel versions acting as series versions under specific conditions or when it is beneficial.


Leave a Comment April 29, 2016

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